Forte Oil Station, Lekki, Lagos

The billionaire oil magnate Mr Femi Otedola the man behind Forte Oil Plc. has decided to sell off his stake in the oil company and divest his shareholdings in the oil marketing company which operates in the downstream sector of the Nigerian petroleum market with presence in every state in Nigeria.

In a letter signed by the General Counsel of Forte oil, Akinleye Olagbende and sent to the Nigerian Stock Exchange the oil mogul explains that he was divesting his entire 75% equity shares held directly and indirectly in the oil firm in order to “explore and maximize business opportunities in refining and petrochemicals”.

Part of the statement made available to the press states ”Forte Oil Plc. hereby notifies the Nigerian Stock Exchange, Securities and Exchange Commission, Shareholders and the investing community that its Majority Shareholder, Mr Femi Otedola, CON has reached an agreement with the Prudent Energy team, investing through Ignite Investments and Commodities Limited, to divest of his full 75% direct and indirect shareholding in the Company’s downstream business,” the statement said.

Femi Otedola

The statement concluded that the sale of his shareholdings is expected to be completed in the 1st quarter of 2019 subject to the satisfaction of various conditions and receipt of applicable regulatory approvals”

Forte Oil Plc has a very interesting biography which has seen the company changing its name and owners three times since inception. The company was incorporated in 1964 as British Petroleum Nigeria Limited but had its status changed from limited liability to public liability when in 1978 the federal government of Nigeria acquired 60% of its shares in favour of the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation Pension Fund.

British Petroleum name was changed in 1979 to African Petroleum and made a public liability company subsequently in the year 2000 A.D. again in 2007, the NNPC Pension Fund divested from African Petroleum and sold its majority shares to Zenon Oil and Gas owned by Mr Otedola.

Forte Oil Tank Farm & Depot, Apapa, Lagos

Mr Otedola was to rebrand and changed the name of the oil giant from African Petroleum to Forte Oil Plc in 2007. With the latest development, there is the likelihood that the Old African Petroleum now Forte Oil is set for another christening and name change.